Rapido 40

2024 June 1

This high-powered, high-tech cruising trimaran has speed to burn

Now for that contrast I mentioned earlier: The Rapido 40 designed by Morrelli & Melvin in southern California, is a high-performance, high-tech, folding trimaran built by Triac Composites in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This is a very up-to-date build facility with its own robotic CNC milling machine used to carve out plugs and molds and its own autoclave for truly high-tech parts built with prepreg carbon to optimize strength to weight. The general director of Triac is Paul Koch and the general manager is Phil Johns. This is a very impressive operation and I bet the food is good too.

Using all the latest design software including computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and proprietary VPP programs, the Morrelli & Melvin office sounds like a fun place to work. I could even bring my own spline weights. 

Perhaps the most novel thing about this trimaran is that rather than have daggerboards in each ama, the 40 has C foils that provide vertical lift along with transverse lift to reduce heel angle. The retractable rudder has a T foil on the tip. 

Draft with the rudder down is 4 feet 8 inches. If I use the loaded displacement, the D/L is 116.2. If I use the light displacement I get a D/L of 87.2. I don’t have any drawings that would indicate hull shape other than the plan view for the interior. I can see max beam has been carried aft. Given how narrow the main hull is on this tri, I suspect the designers were fighting for useful interior volume. That beam aft also helps with the cockpit layout. 

The amas have a full length chine that I presume is on both sides of the ama hull. Of course maybe the biggest attraction of this design is that the amas pivot inboard to reduce beam max of 28 feet 10 inches down to 19 feet 3 inches. This will be a big advantage when you are hunting for a slip in a marina.


The interior is very clean looking, almost stark. There is a double berth in the bow, a large head to port and galley to starboard. There is an option for port and starboard quarter berths or a centerline double berth tucked under the cockpit. Both the quarter berths and the double berth look like they would give me trouble bending my body for access. I prefer interior spaces to be “inviting.” There are large hatches over these aft sleeping areas. There is a U-shaped dinette to port in the main cabin. The rendering of the main cabin shows a microwave sitting on the counter top but no regular range with oven. Seems like the builder could give you whatever you preferred in that area. There is a nav station to starboard just aft of the galley.


The deck plan shows a smallish cockpit aft but that’s common for cruising trimarans. There is an option for pedestal steering but if you want the pedestal steering you can’t have the aft double berth. I can’t find the information on what the alternative steering is. Perhaps it’s a tiller. Neither tiller or pedestal is shown on the deck plan. There is an arced track for a self-tacking Solent jib. The mainsheet traveler is aft of the cockpit. The cabintrunk is nicely sculpted with a lot of fixed window area for visibility. Obviously, if you like to lay out in the sun there are plenty of options with all that netting.

There are two rigs available: the standard rig and the performance rig. The performance rig is 7 feet 3 inches taller than the standard rig. Using the standard rig I get a SA/D of 32.2 using the light displacement and 26.6 if I use the loaded displacement. If I add the asymmetrical spinnaker I get a SA/D of 74. That should get your attention. The  mast and boom are autoclaved carbon and epoxy.

I would like a ride on this boat.

LOA 39’6”; LWL 39’4”; Beam 28’10”, folded 19’3”; Draft 4’7”, foils up 1’10”; Displ. 11,904 lb.; Sail area 1,344 sq. ft.; Auxiliary Twin Oceanvolt 8kW saildrives; Fuel 52 gal.; Water 52 gal.; SA/D 32.2; D/L 87.2

Rapido Trimarans

38 Wang Chiu Road

Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong

Whatsapp 88 83 904 0201